Fast Forward


Scared Blind Date Might Lead to Pulpit Marriage

By Wendy Belzberg

I am a 30-year-old single man. A friend of mine wants to set me up with a woman who is studying to become a rabbi. She sounds like a wonderful person in every way — bar the career she has chosen. When I asked her if she intended to teach, she informed me that she wants to be a pulpit rabbi. I cannot envision myselfRead More


How Celia Cruz Saved an Amazon Night

By Ira Rifkin

I came of age at just the right time to enjoy Celia Cruz — the greatest female singer salsa has ever produced — in her prime, and for her to help shape my lifelong musical tastes. Without her knowing it, she once helped get me out of a frightening situation in a drug-saturated Peruvian river town.Some 40 years ago — between doo-wop and theRead More


An End to Blood Feuds?

By Burton L. Visotzky

This Sabbath we announce the coming of Av, the month about which the Mishna teaches: “When Av begins, diminish joy.” Given the sorry litany of events that befell the Jewish people during this month, it’s no wonder that the Mishna counsels against rejoicing. The Mishna lists five tragic events that took place on the 9th of Av: TheRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL July 25, 2003

Once again, Der Vinkl is pleased to offer our readers still another tasty dish of family humor drawn from the Yiddish Forverts under the title of khendelekh. The editor of the feature is Rukhl Shaechter, who seems to have an inexhaustible reservoir of such amusing tiny tales. The transliteration is by Goldie Gold, the English version by Gus Tyler.Read More


The Village Green: A Big City’s Small-Town Vibe

By Marjorie Ingall

A couple of years ago, I got stuck on the M14 crosstown bus at rush hour. This is because I am an idiot. But it gave me ample time to chat with my seatmate, an elderly Jewish woman who, as it turns out, had lived on my street as a child. She laughed out loud when I told her where I lived. “My family worked so hard to get out ofRead More


Once Upon a Time in Iraq; Two Funds Fight Cancer

By Masha Leon

At the July 1 Jewish Community Relations Council of New York presentation “A Walk Through Jewish Iraq,” Alice Hecht, chief administrative officer of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, using slides and film clips, recapped her 1996 through 1998 visits to Baghdad’s old Jewish quarter “betweenRead More


Going West on the Road to Happyville

Is there anything more American than the long automobile trip en famille? For some families, like that of writer Calvin Trillin, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., during the 1930s and ’40s, taking to the road, especially in the years following the war, was a kind of annual contest, pitting endurance against distance. Writing in his poignantRead More


We Knew We Had a Landmark Case

By Judith Bolton-Fasman

Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad…. And they stood before Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, at the door of the tent of meeting, saying… [Numbers 27:1-2]

“I am Machlah, one of the daughters of Zelophehad. We are five sisters altogether. Tirzah is our center.Read More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL July 18, 2003

A recurrent feature in the Forverts is titled “Mishpokhe Khendlekh,” which may be roughly translated as “Household Humor.” In other words, it is humor fit for the mishpokhe. Indirectly, it makes a point: One can be funny without being smutty.What follows are two such delightful stories. (The column is edited by Rukhl Schaechter.) TheRead More


Confronting In-Law’s Mean Streak

By Wendy Belzberg

I converted to Judaism 12 years ago when I married my husband. Still, my mother-in-law never misses an opportunity to refer to me as “the shiksa.” Enough is enough. How do I let her know that her remarks are hurtful and offensive?

— The convert’s lament If she weren’t your mother-in-law I might suggest responding in kind with aRead More





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